Friday, August 9, 2013

Tomato Artichoke Tapenade

I may be a bit bias, but Italian restaurants have gotten it right by feeding you immediately with free food, right?  I mean, there is nothing more frustrating than heading out to eat while starving and not being able to get your grub on until a half hour after you've ordered.  It's the same thing when going to a dinner party or coming home from a long day of work... you're hungry and want to eat now!  That's what's so great about Tapenade.  It's a smart and complementary starter to any Italian meal that is easy to make the day before so that you can just pop it out of the fridge the next evening and eat right away while you're eagerly waiting for the main dish.  

Tapenade is usually made of olives, capers and anchovies, but there are a couple of folks in my family who despise olives (I know, maybe they're not real Italians, oh, and I'm kinda one of them...).  So I thought this just as tasty dip could be a good substitute.  Because of the tomatoes, it almost becomes a thick Italian salsa/bruschetta that works great on slices of bread instead of chips.  And without that tangy and salty bite from the capers and anchovies, the artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes works as a smart alternative.  A simple but decadent appetizer that will impress all your friends and family your fabulous authentic Italian skills.  :)

What you'll need: serves 4-6

1 heirloom tomato (roughly diced)
2 6 ounce jar quartered artichokes (not canned, drained)
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (if from jar, drained, roughly chopped)
2 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
1/4 cup Italian parsley
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (a tasty substitute for salt)
1 tsp black ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

In a food processor, throw in all the ingredients.  Pulse a couple of times and then blend for a few seconds until everything is finely chopped.  Depending on how chunky you want the paste will determine how long you'll process.  I like mine on the finer side and blended for about 5 seconds.  Chill at least 4 hours or overnight for the flavors to meld together.  Serve on bread or crackers!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Christina,

    I'm obsessed with your recipes and food pics. I think you would make a great guest judge for an event I've got coming up. I'd love to talk to you about the possibilities, and also about being an "old soul". I've been told I have the palette of a man in his 60's. I'm a girl in my 20's... Haha I bet we have quite a few things in common! Email me at Let's chat!